दरारें-दरारें है माथे पे मौला
मरम्मत मुकद्दर की कर दो मौला।
A friend who doubles as my Urdu consultant and dictionary was not very pleased with the word for “repair” in this song. I was asking a question that wasn’t relevant to this line, yet she had to make known, her displeasure (which, of course did sound more like disapproval, then).
Why, I asked?
The word repair is so incongruent with the word destiny, she said. I ran far and wide in the dark corridors of my mind to find a response. She is very strong in her language and I didn’t want to sound Urdu-illiterate (though I am). Unable to find any argument worth deploying at that time, I let go.
Only to get back to her later, i.e today afternoon.
I asked her the proper meanings of the words मरम्मत (marammat) and मुकद्दर (muqaddar). Confirmed, that they meant repair and destiny, respectively. She added, vividly remembering our conversation from two weeks ago, that the choice of words came across as unsophisticated; it wasn’t incorrect and neither did it damage the context of the message.
I have come to love the song since I first heard it, on a promo on TV. This song, if you haven’t guessed (or do not read Devanagari or the font hasn’t rendered well on your browser) is the song “Arziyaan”, from Delhi 6 [IMDB] [Official]. Since the incongruent comment from my consultant, I have been thinking a lot about this song; the love for it, however, growing and the interest strong as ever, if not more.
Today morning, I thought about the song, and this line in particular. Whilst allowing myself broad and loosely worded poetic license, I thought:
Fissures, fissures deep, etched on my forehead,
Fill them, fix them; repair my destiny, oh Lord!
I was wondering of the person who approaches God with a damaged, broken destiny. I wondered of myself in places of worship. How I have prayed, other than the prayers and the chants I have been taught, when I really wanted to reach out. I remember, when younger, I wasn’t thinking straight, I once prayed in English. It was a request-prayer of sorts. All the way back from the temple, I was gripped by a cold doubt; would my prayers be answered? What if He doesn’t accept prayers in English? What if He gives preference to prayers in the local dialect? I have been to temples where I saw folks engaged in vigourous and involved rituals. The environment and the perceptive belief system that I grew up in, caused some sense of insecurity — till such time I stopped going to temples and places of organised worship for the sake of prayer (I now visit them as a student of architecture and a tourist).
I (think I) understand my friend’s mild annoyance at the choice of the words. This is a poem and in the language employed, there is infinite scope to make things beautiful – effortlessly. Part of the annoyance probably comes from what we are accustomed to listening. Asking the Lord to “repair your destiny”, I agree, is unconventional prayer. However, there is a raw, unconstrained honesty in the request. That, to me encompasses all the beauty possible in a prayer. Devoid of convention, bereft of formulations, empty of sycophancy. I also imagine the state of the devotee — the pain and numb helplessness, where only restoration of destiny will help. Imagine the state, also, when there is only one who is capable of the repair. In many ways, it makes you experience the same that the singer is expressing.
There aren’t many songs I pay attention to, but my good friend, caused me to dwell on this for a long while and forced me to find and make meaning of what I hear with such joy. That is, perhaps, God’s way of answering prayers, through friends. When reduced to their minimalist state, all prayers are questions and all blessings are answers.
There is much beauty in this song; made delicate and pure, because of the unsophisticated presentation.